NFL looking at foreign expansion team


NEW YORK -- The NFL's choice of where it will play a regular season game outside the United States has been narrowed down to five cities, one of which could be home to an NFL franchise in the next 10 years, the football league's commissioner said Wednesday.

Roger Goodell said at the Reuters Media Summit in New York that Mexico City, Toronto, London, Frankfurt and Cologne, Germany, are the finalist cities for a regular-season game next year, with a decision expected before the Super Bowl.

He also said that within the next decade, one of those cities -- most likely Mexico City or Toronto -- could be host to a National Football League franchise.

"We can envision that," Goodell said of expansion outside the United States, in response to a question. "I don't know if it will become a reality but it's certainly a possibility.

"The closer to the border probably would be more likely from a geographic standpoint, but I don't think in today's world, it's something we can't overcome," Goodell said.

The league has been trying for years to find a broader audience outside the United States with an NFL-branded league in Europe struggling to find its footing, and more U.S. games being broadcast overseas.

This season it began streaming the full slate of NFL games on Yahoo for consumers in foreign markets.

Goodell, who took up the commissioner's job in August, said the service is drawing about 5,000 subscribers a week, and that the league has done very little marketing for the Internet broadcasts. Consumers pay about $25 per week or can buy the whole season for $250.

"We're responding to interests globally and trying to find ways to bring more football to platforms around the globe," he said.